A surety bond underwriter is a highly specialized profession. The minimum qualifications include a college degree, one year of underwriting experience and knowledge of insurance laws and regulations. Educational Level According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, most companies prefer beginning underwriters to hold a college degree in business administration, insurance, economics, finance or risk management. Certifications Two certifications are required for mid to senior level underwriters. They are certified designations in Fidelity and Surety Bonding (AFSB) and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). Experience Unless you are pursuing an entry level position that states otherwise, most companies prefer at least one year of underwriting experience or related insurance experience. Knowledge The underwriter must be knowledgeable with state specific underwriting statues and applicable insurance regulations. Companies expect their underwriters to have a general understanding of basic analytical and financial techniques. They also prefer candidates to have a certain familiarity with standard business policies and practices. Skills As most surety companies are either divisions or subsidiaries of other larger insurance firms, expectations of an underwriter’s skills vary from organization to organization. Certain notable skills are the ability to follow company procedures, acquire technical knowledge, manage client relationships and render quality decisions. Competency The underwriter must have sufficient competence in determining whether a surety bond applicant is able to complete construction projects per the terms specified by the lender, the subcontractor or the property owner. An applicant is usually a contractor of the project.
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